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The Sweet Hereafter
by Banks, Russell
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1. The bus accident brought out the best and the worst in many of the characters and in the town as a whole, exposing the frayed relationships and the behind-the-scenes lives of the community. How did the accident change the lives of the people in Sam Dent?

2. What were your impressions of the lawyer, Mitchell Stephens? Does his relationship with his daughter, who is struggling with drug addiction, make him more sympathetic to the issues faced by the families?

3. Each character deals with grief in a unique way. Which character can you relate with the most in his/her response to the accident?

4. Why did the author set this story in a small town? Would the story have been different if it was set in a larger city?

5. Who do you think is to blame for the accident, and for what happens afterwards? Does making someone responsible for what happened change the way people in the community feel about the accident?

6. The Sweet Hereafter has been made into a movie. If youve seen the movie, how do you think it compares to the book?

Additional discussion questions from: HarperCollins
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